Thoughts on Value

Goodbye Constants

Sometimes a post is the product of days and months of study, reflection, writing, editing, re-writing, and so on. I regularly read through old posts and correct and edit as necessary. Even my own views do need adjusting – a lot of adjusting actually. I’m grateful for the edit button. For major changes, I usually dedicate a post to it, such as my turn from chauvinism to describing an identity for women that has been culturally forgotten in the series: This Is Who You Are, or with my non-expert views on relationships in the series It’s About A What’s Most Important. But sometimes a simple thought or sight, or picture, or an event, or even just a single word can trigger a piece. This is one such example. For this particular post, it started while I was answering messages and comments on my blog, and it seems The Crush post and This Is Who You Are has resonated with more than a few of you – for some, it resonated too much. Again, I don’t want anyone to make this mistake that I’m some great guy. The only reason why people think so is because they don’t know me well enough. if you were to ask me for a name of a girl who really likes me I’d probably only be able to give you one: my mom. I don’t know a single girl who can stand me for long periods of time, what more a lifetime? It’s just not worth discussing. And once again, I want to direct your attention elsewhere. It’s not because I’m allergic to girls liking me. It’s that I would rather people pour their affection into someone who they truly love (not just some crush they’ll drop when there’s a replacement person or activity). Besides, I don’t want to be a fake ideal. I’m fake enough. Give your affection to people you truly love, the ones you’ll cry buckets over when they die (and I’m not talking about movie stars or royalty who don’t even know you exist), the ones whose presence you’ll truly miss, who’s kindness and generosity cannot be forgotten, the ones who, when you remember them, actually involve you sharing life together. Give your affection to the very real people around you in your home. They need your love too – they need it more than I do. They especially need it more than your magazine crush. Also, give your affection to the people who truly love you. Many times, when we step back and really look at our relationships – and this is something I recommend – we’ll find that people we’re suppose to love most, the ones we already truly love most at the bottom of our hearts, are also the ones who love us most such as our family and friends. When we honestly ask ourselves, “Am I showing them true love?” the answer for us is usually, “I can do better.” So why wait for a better time to do better? It’s easy to take for granted the constant presence of someone who loves you.  It’s easy to take it for granted because that kind of love is always there. The more unconditional the love, the more real it is in every day life because it is faithful and persevering even in the small things. Look at the most reliable things that sustain us, the air we breathe, the warmth of the sun, the turning of the Earth, all critical things that happen each day that most of us have forgotten how remarkable they are. The constant things in life are the easiest to take for granted.  Yet, when that constant fails, when the air is polluted, when the sun is clouded out, and when the Earth quakes, we are shaken to the core and realize just how lucky we were to have those constants. We pray for their return. Our families are a good example. There will come a day when we wake up and they won’t be around. They’ll be dead, or we would have moved, or some change that keeps us apart has happened. Someday, we ourselves will be dead and will leave loved ones behind. Yet, when we think of constant love, the kind that provides, and guides, and protects, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone more proven than the family you share a home with. Let’s not take this constant for granted. Just because someone has always loved you, doesn’t mean they always will or they always can. People do die. Time does run out. Relationships are always moving. We’re either moving closer or further away. And the more constant love is, the more real the danger of familiarity – that first step towards taking something for granted. This is where your affection belongs, not to me, or to some celebrity, or inspirational person, but to the people who need your constant love and who constantly love you. Most of all, give your affection to Jesus. I have been reading from the book of Jeremiah the past few days, and in Jeremiah 31:3, there is a beautiful verse that goes, “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Everlasting love. What a thought. Even when I am unfaithful, He is faithful. In the constancy of His love, I have many many times taken Him for granted. More than that, I have hurt Him, on purpose too I’ll admit. That’s what it means when I choose to be proud, or lustful, or unforgiving. It means that I choose to hurt Him. The constancy of His love shows me how far I am, how much improvement I need, how much I lack. Yet, that same constant love, shows me that I’m loved the way I am and that His love makes me better. Each day, I have a choice, to embrace constant love or take it for granted, until that final day when I may no longer choose, and that which I have embraced is what I am left with.